Within every woman is the desire to be loved, cherished and pursued — not for what she does but for who she is. For single women, Valentine’s Day serves as a bleak and stinging reminder that she is neither loved nor pursued by a romantic partner. I remember one Valentine’s Day in particular when I made the mistake of stopping at the grocery store after work. Nearly everywhere I looked were men picking out flowers for their sweethearts. I fought the feelings, but they flooded me anyway. I left the store feeling empty, alone and invisible. This absence, this hole within the heart, often leads to feelings of shame: What’s wrong with me as a woman? Am I not deserving of a man’s love? But more often, it just leads to a really depressing day.
As Christians, however, we’re called to something higher than our feelings, higher than going home and drowning our bitter sorrows in bowls of ice cream and chic flicks. We’re called to take every thought captive and submit it to the truth of Christ. Valentine’s Day is a critical time for single women to be on the offensive against lies, lies that the enemy of our souls would seek to use against us. We need to put up our shields by reminding ourselves of some important truths found in Scripture.
Christ Pursues Us
While we may not have a boyfriend buying us stuffed animals, chocolates and flowers, we have something far greater: a God who is by His very nature intimate with us and desiring of our affections. In other religions, man must struggle toward God, but through Jesus, God came down to us. He pursues. He desires. He draws near — constantly wooing us to abide close to His side. Psalm 23:6 says, “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.” If we respond, He will fill our hearts with His love, not just on Valentine’s Day but on every day we invite Him.
Thankfulness Reminds Us
Thankfulness is one of the most effective weapons in our arsenal against the enemy. Try jotting down everything for which you’re thankful. While we all have different seasons in life, some better than others, we should all have at least something to put down. Writing these reminds us not to focus on what we don’t have, but on what we do. Yet gratitude is more than just something to make us feel better. It is literally the pathway into the presence of God. Psalm 95:2 reads, “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving.” When I start to feel self-pity, I mentally list everything I do have: family, friends, job, health. The list goes on. One thing I am especially thankful for is a father who models Christ-like love to me. When I woke on Valentine’s Day last year, I braced myself for what I knew would be a tough day. Instead, I found a surprise on my kitchen table: a bouquet of flowers. The card propped up against them, in my dad’s unmistakable handwriting, read, “For my Omi.”
Service Frees Us
It’s easy for single women to sit home on Valentine’s Day, moping about the fact that no chivalrous man is showing up to sweep us off our feet for a fancy dinner. But wallowing in self-pity is the worst way to spend our time. The best way to combat this is to get out and help other people. Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” There is an epidemic of loneliness throughout our communities. By reaching out to help others, we take the focus off ourselves and put it back where it rightly belongs: onto Christ.
Although on Valentine’s Day our feelings scream otherwise, we must willfully remember that we are loved. We are cherished. And we are pursued, not because of anything we’ve done to deserve this gift but because of an extravagant, incomprehensible love. The kind of love that delights in healing the most hurting of hearts.
Naomi Spencer is a newspaper editor, coffee-lover and book-reader in Buffalo, N.Y.
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